Letter writer attacks messenger, not the message

When I was in college, we were taught that when you are in a debate with someone, you should pay attention to your opponent's points and show that what he is saying is incorrect. Recently I wrote a letter to the editor, discussing some of the inherent difficulties wind-generated electricity has to deal with. One fellow disagreed with me strongly enough to write his own letter. However, he did not use the above debating tactic.

My letter began with the statement, "Electricity from wind farms costs around four times as much as that produced by conventional electrical generators." Now is this statement true or false? My critic never says.

A second statement was, "andhellip;once the towers are in place, their fuel is both free and inexhaustible." My critic claims that I said, "once andhellip; the windmills are churning, the power is free." He has misquoted me.

Another statement was that the wind is variable; sometimes it does not blow, and when it is blowing, it has both gusts and lulls. Anyone doubt that this statement is true?

My fourth point was that because the wind is inconsistent, a wind farm must be paired with a set of conventional generators. Again, my critic doesn't say if that statement is true or not.

He does offer the example of acquaintances that depend upon wind and solar power. These "doughty pioneers" use batteries to smooth out their uneven generation of electricity. And this technique does work quite well for individual households. Unfortunately, it's not an option for wind farms, as there is no practical way to store large amounts of electricity.

And so on.

The tactic my critic does use is ancient: If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger. His letter is filled with unflattering comments about me. But how accurate are his statements? He claims, for example, that I own a rundown deli. Now my wife did operate a successful deli for a number of years, but it was sold when we retired in 2006. The building now is home to Canyon Creek Candle Company.

'Nuff said.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

Cell tower could deface area, affect pilot safety

Coyote Peak has a cement foundation on it that is left over from a beacon that was secured upon it. This beacon is long since gone.

It lined up with the main runway No. 30 at the Baker Airport. Depending on how planes leave or approach the landing strip, any structure could affect their safety.

From this high point is one of the best views of Baker Valley that is easily accessed by car. This was/is old Baisley Elkhorn mine property.

Most important, the people of Haines and surrounding area should not have their area defaced by anything, let alone 199 feet of tower.

Keith Best

Baker City

Soroptimists say thank you to assistance programs

Regarding the article printed Jan. 30, 2013, we would like to say "hats off" to the Domestic Violence Intervention Program offered by the Northeast Oregon Compassion Center and Andy Micka. Those involved, including Baker County Parole and Probation officers, MayDay, and the Compassion Center have helped those struggling with outside influences, salvaging their lives.

As Soroptimist International of Baker County strongly endorses and supports these efforts, we would like to say thank you to the volunteers and supporters and all others involved who are not ever mentioned. You do so much for our little community.

Thank you all.

Holly McKim

President, Soroptimist International of Baker County

Honor heroes in a way other than renaming airport

I think renaming Heilner Field is a bad idea. He represents quite a large community of Jewish citizens and merchants from our past. If we remove all the reminders of them (with the exception, of course, of Leo Adler) I fear people will forget their history here, which would be a shame. I dealt with a good number of them and was always treated fairly and warmly. I'm sorry they are no longer a part of our community. I miss them and feel we should never fail to honor their contribution to our city.

I suggest instead, that we name a school or park for our fallen heroes. A school, in particular, would give teachers an opportunity to tell the children about them and what they contributed to our lives. There could be an annual "recognition day" to name several of our servicemen and women who have made the supreme sacrifice for their country. Their names are all posted on the memorial in front of the Baker County Courthouse. This could give a real chance to honor our heroes in a meaningful way.

Alberta Bailey

Baker City